Tame Impala - Music Hall of Williamsburg - 11/7/2012
The goodwill ensured by these lyrics was helped by the fact that the band, particularly Parker and Watson, were quite charming. Parker was relatively astonished that the crowd had made it out in such numbers, calling us all "soldiers" and congratulating everyone on the election of Obama while pumping his fist humbly. "I'm not really much of a political guy," he said. "But I can feel when shit is like, going crazy, and I think you averted that." Watson added that the band was "neutral like Switzerland, but we like Obama." To which Parker nodded enthusiastically, and, reminding everyone of his Australian origin, claimed that "Obama is a legend" (Legend being an overused compliment for anyone admirable in Australia, similar to the way we use genius here.)
And at a show like last night's, it's hard not to just throw hands up and add Tame Impala to the swollen ranks of our new quotidian geniuses, at least when it comes to songcraft. The last, best thrill came on the penultimate song of the band's set, their zen mission statement "Desire Be, Desire Go." A standout track from Innerspeaker, the song provides a welcome respite for any working stiff; its lyrics, which bemoan the grind of "every day, back and forth" and ask "What's it for?," instantly relatable for those trapped in the rat race. And yet, the depth of the song, especially played live last night, provides an escape for anyone open to the kind of expansive psychedelia which Tame Impala are quickly mastering. Snow forgotten, the crowd vibed along, getting lost in the trippy visual mutations on the backdrop and escaping into a breadth of sound that was transportative, taking us all out of ourselves for a little while and prolonging, for that time, any and all considerations of just how the hell to get back home safely.
Overheard: Some older gentlemen, discussing the band member's ages: "They're fucking children." "Yeah but they have more hair than you've ever grown in your life."
Overheard 2: "Do Australians know about encores?"
Critical Bias: I really like Tame Impala. But I was grouchy about the weather. So that could've translated into a bad attitude and it TOTALLY DIDN'T. So that means I'm objective, in my opinion. Yup.